Goldman Sachs chief: Sanders’s criticism is ‘dangerous’

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The head of Goldman Sachs believes being singled out for criticism by Bernie Sanders represents a “dangerous moment” for the country.

Lloyd Blankfein, the Wall Street giant’s chief executive, said Wednesday that the Democratic presidential candidate might have gone too far in personally targeting him.

“To personalize it, it has potential to be a dangerous moment. Not just for Wall Street … but for anybody who is a little bit out of line,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

Sanders has railed against Wall Street throughout his populist campaign, accusing the financial industry of ruining the economy and holding down the middle class. And he has singled out Blankfein and his company as a poster child for the greed and recklessness he says is endemic in finance.

{mosads}In a January interview with Bloomberg, he specifically mentioned Blankfein as representing greed on Wall Street, for taking massive pay packages “after destroying the economy.”

Blankfein pushed back Wednesday, arguing that Sanders and his ilk are too rigid to get anything done.

“It’s a liability to say, ‘ I’m willing to compromise,’ ” he said. “It’s just incredible. It’s a moment in history. Eventually people, the electorate, will notice nothing is getting done.”

Goldman Sachs has long been a popular political punching bag, and that has held true for both parties on the presidential campaign trail.

GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz faced heat from opponents after The New York Times reported he failed to properly disclose a loan from the company during his Senate run. His wife, Heidi, works there but is on a leave of absence.

And beyond criticizing Goldman directly, Sanders has used it as a political cudgel as well, criticizing his opponent, Hillary Clinton, for accepting large speaking fees from the banking firm.

While Blankfein backed Clinton when she ran in 2008, he was mum on his preferred pick in 2016.

“I don’t want to help or hurt anybody by giving them an endorsement,” he said.

And Blankfein said he did not take Sanders’s attacks personally but acknowledged a slight sting from seeing another Brooklynite making the jabs.

“I don’t take it personally, since we never met,” he said. “Another kid from Brooklyn, how about that.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein Wall Street
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